how to stop shoes from squeaking

Squeak no More: How to Stop Shoes From Squeaking

Tired of loud, super squeaky shoes? Here’s how to stop shoes from squeaking, any shoe on any surface for good!

End the Squeaking for Good!

Unless you’re a pro basketball player running across the court, you probably don’t want to have loud, shrill, squeaky shoes. In fact, even if you are a pro basketball player, you probably still don’t want loud squeaky shoes.

Instead of throwing away any old shoes that just can’t seem to stop squeaking, you have some options on how to repair, refit, or refinish, and stop the squeaking! If you’ve had enough of alerting everyone within a two-block radius that you’re walking down the street, follow this guide to learn how to stop your shoes from squeaking.

Why do Shoes Squeak in the First Place?

how to stop shoes from squeaking

In case you’ve ever actually wondered why shoes can squeak so much, the answer might actually surprise you. It’s more complicated than just a rubber sole on certain types of flooring!

A squeaky pair of shoes can be caused by air, moisture, or dirt being trapped within different parts of the sole of your shoe. Usually, this air and moisture get caught within the part of the shoe that is most in contact with the ground, the insole.

When the insole rubs against other parts of the shoe or the ground it produces the telltale shrill squeaking sound dreaded by humans and animals alike. Over time as your shoes age and possibly accumulate water damage and other signs of wear, it’s more likely that your shoes will make even more squeaky noises.

So, what exactly can you do to stop the infernal squeaking? It’s easier than you think to never again be haunted by the shrill cries of rubber insole against shoe leather.

Hit the Dryer

drying shoes

Since one of the leading causes of shoe squeaking is trapped moisture, it makes intuitive sense that by removing the trapped moisture, you’ll alleviate the squeak. But how can you get at the moisture that’s trapped beneath the outer layer of the shoe?

Throw your shoes into the dryer and see if that can help you evaporate the trapped water causing your squeaky headache! Be sure not to use too high a heat setting and definitely don’t leave your shoes in the dryer for more than ten to fifteen minutes maximum!

It’s no good if you stop the squeaking but end up shrinking and destroying your shoes in the process. Depending on the material of your shoes, for example, leather shoes, you’ll need to take even more care if you want to try this hack for stopping the shoe squeak.

Break out the Baby Powder

If you don’t want to risk potentially damaging your shoes in the dryer you could try using talcum powder, also known as baby powder, instead! Baby powder is great for soaking up water instantaneously on contact.

Made from talc, which is a composition of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen, baby powder sucks up moisture and reduces surface friction. It’s great for preventing skin rashes after a shower, and also for soaking up trapped water in your shoes while also reducing the friction of any parts of your shoe that happen to be rubbing together to produce a loud squeak!

If your shoes have a removable sole, remove the sole and sprinkle the powder directly onto the affected area. If you cannot remove the sole of your shoes, sprinkle as much baby powder as you can around the sole area as well as on any other area you suspect moisture might be hiding, or in an area where you want to reduce the friction (for example the tongue and lace area on a pair of leather dress shoes).

This is a great cost-effective and easily accessible option. Once your shoes have dried out, use paper towels to wipe your shoes clean so they don’t have a white powder coating.

Manually Dry Your Shoes

While we’re focusing on drying your shoes out, you can also try manually drying any area of your shoes that might have trapped water. If your sole is removable, remove it and tackle the area with a cotton ball, paper towels, or any other drying medium.

If your sole isn’t removable, do the best you can to dry around the sole, though this might not work entirely by itself. You might need to combine manually drying with some other hacks to stop the squeak. Try inserting a dryer sheet under the insole if you can to stop any squeaking parts from rubbing together.

This will create a smooth surface that should reduce the amount of squeaking that you’re hearing.

Reduce the Friction

how to stop shoes from squeaking

We’re going to present this as a catch-all term since there are a number of common household items you can use to stop squeaky shoes by reducing the surface friction of the moving parts of the shoe.

WD-40 is well known for stopping squeaky doorknobs and hinges in their tracks, and it can work the same magic on squeaky shoes. Use a cotton ball or paper towel to soak up some WD-40, and apply it all over the outside seam of the shoe you want to silence. One note, do not try this trick on suede shoes as WD-40 will ruin the material.

Saddle soap is another great option to silence squeaky leather shoes. Saddle soap is basically a super fancy soap for leather goods. Made of soap, beeswax, and conditioning agents, saddle soap lubricates and moisturizes leather goods to prevent cracking, and yes, annoying squeaking leather.

Saddle soap got its name as it was used to protect and extend the usefulness of horse saddles. The old cowboy trick to keep their saddles in top shape will also help to silence your squeaky shoes.

Coconut oil is another, more versatile agent to help stop squeaking shoes. If you have removable insoles, coconut oil is great for the interior of your shoe. Remove the insoles if you can, wet a napkin with some coconut oil, and then rub the coconut oil around the inside of your shoe as well as the outer sole.

Not only can this help eliminate squeaky sounds from insoles but it will also leave your shoe with a mild coconut smell, far better than the alternative!

One last friction-related trick is actually the complete opposite of the rest of this section. For brand new right-off rack shoes, the shiny and smooth new shoe bottoms might be contributing to squeaking.

By using a piece of grit sandpaper you can gently scuff the bottom of your new shoes, but make sure to use very light pressure, and fine-grain sandpaper. By making your shoes less smooth and polished, they shouldn’t squeak as much when you’re walking over slick surfaces.

If you go this route make sure that you use light pressure! You don’t want to damage the bottom of your new shoes too much.

Repairing Old Shoes

repairing old shoes

If your shoes are older and showing visible signs of wear, any loose, not well-attached pieces, might be causing the dreaded squeaking. Before you take your old water-damaged shoe to a shoe repair shop, there are a few inexpensive hacks you can try to not only fix your shoe but also stop the squeaking!

If the bottom of your shoes is loose and looks like it’s trying to have a conversation, use super glue to glue the bottom back to the main body of the shoe. Put the shoe in some kind of vice or clamp to allow the super glue enough time to dry.

Be sure to let the shoe sit for a long enough time that the glue is able to fully adhere and fix the shoe. If the connection is still loose and there are small gaps air and water will be able to sneak back in and it will defeat the purpose of gluing the bottom back on.

You can also try applying a waterproof spray after you’ve completed your shoe repairs. This can help prevent any future water from getting deep into your shoe to cause unwanted noise, but be sure the waterproof spray you use is safe for the material you’re going to spray.

Also, keep in mind you might have to reapply the spray every so often so that you don’t lose waterproofing effectiveness.

Unwanted Noise No More

By using a few common household items you can stop the annoying squeak coming from any pair of shoes. Regardless of the material, there’s a way to stop them from causing an irritating squeaking noise.

Remember that the steps in this guide aren’t entirely foolproof and you’ll need to keep up with your overall shoe care routines to get the best results. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to entirely defeat excess moisture for good, but with a little routine maintenance, you can end the squeaking noises.

Now that you’ve learned how to stop shoes from squeaking, you can wear any pair of shoes with confidence and style, and you won’t ever need to worry about drawing attention to your shoes for the wrong reason!

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